Air Force will look to kick out of this snide they are in and get back in the win column against Fresno State on the road this evening. Air Force started the season out nicely, winning the first four games of the season, including a win over rival Navy. Since beating Navy four weeks ago, they haven’t been able to get a win. The Falcons have dropped games against Wyoming, New Mexico, and just lost to Hawaii in overtime. It was a good win for Hawaii that’s for sure.
Air Force doesn’t have many excuses to lose to Hawaii at home. They had them where they wanted all the way on the main coast away from the islands, but let one slip away. Air Force has to take Fresno State seriously after three failures in a row. The Falcons looked like they were going to have one of the best years in school history, but three losses in a row will quickly derail that.
The Falcons are still in a nice position to earn a place in a bowl game. Jared Goff made them look silly last year in their bowl game, but should be able to find another postseason game in late December. Tonight is looking like a triple-option special with Navy and Air Force both playing on Friday night. For my pick in the Navy game you can go back to the main blog and access the link.
The Falcons will travel to Fresno for what amounts to a pretty uninspiring matchup if you don’t have money on the game. Fresno State hasn’t been the same team since Derek Carr was drafted by the Oakland Raiders. The Bulldogs had a decent team then who could pour the points on with Carr and Davante Adams hooking up.
The Fresno State offense is pretty lifeless these days and has failed to resemble anything close to those day. They enter with a record of 1-7 and are just looking to avoid finishing as the worst team in college football. Fresno State has one lonely win against a FCS school, Sacramento State. Their closest effort came in a 4-point loss to Nevada. Air Force doesn’t provide the most favorable matchup for Fresno State, but we’ll see if they can draw something up to slow the triple-option down on Friday night.
Air Force Falcons vs. Fresno State Bulldogs NCAAF Betting Odds:
Air Force -13.5(-115)
vs. Fresno State +13.5(-105)
Odds provided by Bovada.lv
Air Force vs. Fresno State Pick:
The difference separating Navy and Air Force this past week was their passing games. While Worth connected through the air, the passing attack for Air Force was literally non-existent against Hawaii. They tried to get it going last week but failed miserably. Quarterback Nate Romine completed 1/10 passes and had an interception. However, Romine has looked much better at times this year. He has passed for 1,109 yards and connected for 9 touchdowns and 4 interceptions. For a triple-option offense those numbers are pretty impressive.
Air Force is right behind Navy on the ground, rushing for 291.4 yards per game for 5th in the country. This game is a complete mismatch between the running games. Note that Fresno State is 110th running the football. Their only ray of hope is getting into a rhythm rushing the ball. It will be easier said than done against a defensive unit that ranks 21st against the run, though. Air Force is allowing only 121.3 yards per game rushing.
Fresno State can’t run the ball, nor can they stop the run. Fresno State is 126th in the country defending the run, allowing an abysmal 264.8 yards per game. This will be the first triple-option offense that Fresno State has played this season. It’s going to be difficult for coaches to take this defense, who couldn’t stop a high school team from running the ball, from slowing Air Force down in any way. Air Force blew Fresno State out a year ago by a score of 42-14. I handicapped this final score pretty similar to that score. About 45-17 looks about perfect, which would result in a cover in favor of Air Force tonight.
PICK: AIR FORCE -13.5 (-115)